Indonesia’s Updated NDC for a Climate Resilient Future

Amid a year of global economic contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia has boldened its climate commitments through an Updated NDC—recently submitted to the UNFCCC on July 22, 2021—with fair emissions reduction targets and strengthened alignment between the country’s climate and development objectives. This comes after more than a year of extensive multi-stakeholder reviews and consultation processes under the helm of the Directorate General of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (DGCC MoEF) of the Republic of Indonesia.

The largest archipelagic country in the world is now committed to reduce its greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions target unconditionally to 29% and conditionally (with international support) to 41% compared to business-as-usual (BAU) scenarios of 834 Mt CO2e and 1,185 Mt CO2e, respectively, by 2030. The Updated NDC reflects the progression beyond the existing NDC particularly in the enhanced ambition on adaptation, enhanced clarity on mitigation by adopting the Paris Agreement rule book (Katowice Package), aligning the national context that relates to the existing condition, milestones along with national development for the period of 2020-2024, and indicative pathways towards long-term vision (Vision Indonesia 2045 and the Long-Term Strategy on Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Development 2050/ LTS-LCCR 2050), as well as Translating the Paris Agreement Rule Book (Katowice Package) into Indonesia’s context.

Indonesia has been committed to tackle climate change since the Conference of Parties (COP) 15 of 2009 with its Intended NDC pledge to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% (with its own efforts) and by 41% (if it receives international assistance) by 2020. Indonesia’s commitment is strengthened through the first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) document in November 2016 with the stipulation of an unconditional target of 29% and a conditional target of up to 41% compared to the business as usual (BAU) scenario in 2030.

Since Indonesia is vulnerable to climate risks, the biodiverse nation equipped itself with a climate change adaptation commitment to achieve a society and ecosystem that is resilient to the risks and impacts of climate change by 2030. This commitment was reinforced in the Updated NDC where adaptation ambitions were enhanced through programs, strategies, and actions aiming to achieve economic, social and livelihood, and ecosystem and landscape resilience.

With strengthened mitigation and adaptation commitments, the Updated NDC reflects Indonesia’s adoption of the recently established Paris Agreement Rule Book (Katowice Package) into the national context to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in implementing the Agreement. This approach additionally communicates the progress and achievements in line with national development and long-term visions. These are reflected in the recently adopted Long-Term Strategy on Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Development 2050 (LTS-LCCR 2050).

Submitted together with the Updated NDC, Indonesia’s LTS-LCCR 2050 document presents the carbon-rich nation’s sustainable vision beyond the Paris climate targets, and strikes a balance between future emission reduction and economic development. The long-term strategy also outlines Indonesia’s goal to reach peak national GHG emissions by 2030, with a net sink in the forestry and land use sectors, and to progress further towards net-zero emissions by 2060 or sooner. Similarly, the strategy aims to reduce the country’s potential GDP loss by 3.45% due to climate change in 2050 by enhancing resilience in four basic socio-economic development needs: food, water, energy, and environmental health.

Despite current development challenges caused by the pandemic, Indonesia’s Updated NDC and future vision outlined in the LTS-LCCR 2050 together express the country’s ambitions for a development pathway towards climate resilience in a phased approach. According to the Updated NDC, Indonesia is betting on the forestry and land use sector and the energy sector to contribute the most to the emissions reduction target, with the former accounting for 24.1 percent of the figure, equal to 692 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mton CO2e), and the latter accounting for 15.5 percent or 446 Mton CO2e. The government aims have the forestry sector to surpass carbon neutrality to become a net carbon sink by 2030.

Deputy Minister of Environment and Forestry, Alue Dohong said, “We are on the right track, as we already have the corrective measures [to reach a net sink], such as preventing deforestation.”

Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani also explained that the emissions reduction target needs funding, just like any other government project. To reach the 2030 NDC target alone, the country would need at least 4.52 quadrillion rupiah ($310 billion).

She said the government has earmarked around 4.1 percent of the state budget for emissions reduction efforts.

Between 2018 and 2020, some 102.6 trillion rupiah was set aside from the national budget, although it only covered one third of the projected costs of emissions reduction projects for that period.

“That is why reaching the NDC commitment cannot be done by the government alone. We also need corporations, ordinary people and the whole ecosystem to pitch in,” Sri Mulyani added.

In preparing the Updated NDC and the LTS-LCCR 2050, the Government of Indonesia ensured inclusive multi-sectoral consultations with various line ministries and other government institutions, academia, scientists, private sector, and civil society organizations. Following their submission to UNFCCC, these documents are now being socialized among stakeholders as part of the government’s effort to communicate and rally widespread support for achieving the nation’s climate change targets. The rounds of socializations are supported by the NDC Partnership’s Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) Project, with GGGI as the Government of Indonesia’s delivery partner.

The socialization at the national level targeted various stakeholders including: all key ministries/institutions with specific roles in the Updated NDC, as well as other ministries/institutions, private sector, civil society organizations, university/research institutions, and development partners. The national level socialization was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia (MoEF) on September 23, 2021. The socialization event was opened by the Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, Siti Nurbaya Bakar.

Moving forward, the series of socialization at the subnational level will target the provincial governments and key government offices, private sector, civil society organizations, university/research institutions, development partners and other stakeholders. This is to ensure that Party Stakeholders (national government and line ministries) and Non-Party Stakeholders (subnational governments, private sector, research institutions and development partners) can understand their roles and responsibility in achieving Indonesia’s target on climate change, pledged in Updated NDC and LTS-LCCR 2050.

The NDC Partnership is also supporting the Government of Indonesia through funding from the Government of Germany, WRI and the World Bank on its Build Back Better with Low Carbon Development Initiative, as part of the Partnership’s Economic Advisory Support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.